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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘blessing’

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Visit the Rebbe’s Ohel [video]

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

(JNi.Media) As the US Presidential elections draw closer, the candidates are looking for all the support they can get.

On Saturday night, Ivanka (Yael) Trump, presidential candidate Donald Trump’s Jewish daughter, and her husband Jared Kushner visited the grave of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, also known as the “Ohel”. The Ohel is located in the Old Montefiore Cemetery in Queens, New York.

The visit was ostensibly for a blessing before the elections, but it may have also been to drum up additional last minute support among the Orthodox community, many of whom already support Trump.

Press were not invited to the event.

The visit also happened to coincide with the gun scare at Donald Trumps’ rally in Reno, Nevada.

On the other side of the Hassidic spectrum, last week, a Satmar Brooklyn weekly, Der Yid, according to a report in The Forward (Der Yid does not have a website), recommended that voters show their appreciation to Hillary Clinton for being “sympathetic to the needs of the Haredi Community.”

JNi.Media

Holiday Blessing by the Kohanim From the Western Wall in Jerusalem [video]

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

This week the Western Wall Plaza was filled with the sound of blessing — the benediction of the Kohanim – by the descendants of the priests of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.

They prayed for the Nation of Israel from the heart of the holy city of Jerusalem on the second intermediate day of the Festival of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles.

Hundreds of Israeli police and Border Guard police officers were also there to take their places among the worshipers, not only to secure the thousands who participated in the ceremony as Kohanim and those who received the blessings, but also as worshipers themselves.

Thousands also watched the ceremony from around the world via the Kotelcam webcam that is installed across from and above the Western Wall, enabling viewers to watch the activities at the sacred site 24 hours a day.

NOTE: Please be aware that the above YouTube footage contains a recording of the sacred prayers and thus should be treated with appropriate respect.

Hana Levi Julian

Rebbetzin Yemima’s Remedy For Unblocked Blessing

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

When I attend a shiur by Rebbetzin Yemima Mizrachi, I am inspired to repeat her divrei Torah to anyone who will listen. Recently, she spoke beautifully on the topic of honoring parents. She said that Hashem wishes to bestow blessings, but in order for them to flow, we must be at peace with our parents. If there is friction with parents, then the blessings are blocked. Make peace, avoid dissent. Simple? No. Worth it? Yes! When I came home, I received a heart-rending message from a dear friend of mine who is involved in a year-long, ugly, custody battle. She was anxiety ridden about a pending decision that would determine the parameters of visitation. Could I call her when I returned home?

To add to her distress, this close friend has a lifetime history of complications in her relationship with her mother, her only living parent. Thus, she struggles without the benefit of family support.

It seemed too much of a coincidence that this particular friend called me on a night that I had learned something new about the power of honoring parents. She needed blessing in her life and had gone to great lengths in seeking ways to increase her personal merits. Since I love her, I did not wish to increase her suffering by bringing up the sore topic of her mother/daughter relationship. So, I offered up a silent prayer request to Hashem and asked that if I tell her that I went to the shiur, and she specifically asks what it was about, I will relay the message of kibbud horim being the remedy to unblock blessing.

I told her that I had just walked in the door from a Rebbetzin Yemima Mizrachi shiur. She asked, “What was the class about?” (Ding!) I relayed the shiur in detail and respectfully added that maybe it was time for her to reach out to her mother.

Her next words were so agonizing. She told me that as far as her mother is concerned she is an invisible daughter, and doesn’t even rank on her scale of interest. Her mother invents grudges against her and holds onto them. At the last simcha that they were invited to, they were seated at the same table and her mother ignored her the entire evening!

Sadly, all of those things were absolutely true, as I had witnessed them myself.

I had a flash of inspiration. I told her that I will call her mother and prepare her for the phone call. My friend was skeptical and also annoyed at my persistence. So I challenged her. I said, “If something good comes from all of this and suddenly you see a yeshua, it will have been worth it. If nothing comes of it, we can both go to Rabbanit Yemima and give her a piece of our minds!” She thought this was kind of funny, and we hung up on good terms.

Then, I called her mother. Her mother knows me for years and had always made me feel welcomed, despite the fact that I was privy to her rocky relationship with her daughter.

I explained that I called because I thought that she should know what is happening in her daughter’s life and to be aware of her sorrow. I told her how devastating it was for her daughter to petition and battle for the time that she spends with her own children.

To my utter surprise, her mother was extremely receptive. At the conclusion of our hour-long conversation, she told me that she instinctively felt that if they were to make up with each other, it would bring blessing into both of their lives!

Tzippy Erblich

For 72 Hours Only from Kupat Ha’ir: Receive a Special Blessing from the Gadol Hatorah on Shavuos

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

[COMMUNICATED]

CLICK HERE TO ADD YOUR NAME!

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, the distinguished Torah scholar, has recently promised to give a special “Me Shebeirach” blessing, when he is called up to the Torah on Shavuos morning, to all those who give to Kupat Ha’ir. This great charity will go directly to assist needy families of Torah scholars.

With Shavuos almost upon us, there are many families who do not have enough funds to celebrate even a modest Yom Tov. They have turned to Kupat Ha’ir, under the auspices of Rav Kanievsky, shlit”a, as their last resort. Please, help them be able to enjoy the special Yom Tov of Shavuos, as is appropriate for the family of a Torah scholar.

Every dollar you give will be matched!

However, this appeal will last for 72 hours only! During these three special days, when we prepare ourselves to receive the Torah again, giving to this charity has special meaning and extraordinary effect. So please donate to a fund that is dedicated to families of Torah scholars at a time when it is particularly appropriate to support the Torah.

CLICK HERE TO ADD YOUR NAME!

Apart from the tremendous merit to help the families of the Torah celebrate the joy of Shavuos, donors also will have their names read at a special blessing when Rav Kanievsky is called up to the Torah for the ultimate honor of reading of the Aseres Hadibros, the Ten Commandments.

Please give generously to Torah Scholars at this favorable time!

CLICK HERE TO ADD YOUR NAME!

Jewish Press Staff

Be A Blessing

Friday, May 6th, 2016

Baruch Hashem, the American Jewish community has been blessed with great wealth, and the tzedakah that has been forthcoming from America boggles the imagination. Consider the myriad of causes, institutions, groups and organizations here, in Israel, and throughout the world that have been built and founded by American Jewry.

This willingness to give is part of our Jewish DNA. Hashem Himself endowed us with it: “Veheyei berachah – you shall be a blessing,” G-d told our father Avraham. The charge of G-d is not “Be blessed” but “Be a blessing.”

There is a fine difference between the two, and given the choice we would all probably opt to be blessed. There are so many yearnings in our hearts, so many hopes, so many fears. We go for a berachah and we have so many problems that we don’t know where to begin: health, shalom bayis, parnassah, shidduchim, children, then good children – and before you know it, we add grandchildren to the list. Bottom line: it’s never over.

We all want to be blessed. Yet Hashem anointed our Patriarch with the immortal words “Be a blessing.” My saintly father, HaRav HaGaon HaTzaddik Avraham Halevi Jungreis, zt”l, would put it in laymen’s language. Often he would say to me, “Mein lichtig kind, zolst eemer kennen geiben; zolst kein mol nisht darfen beaten – My precious light, you should always be able to give; you should never have to ask.”

Throughout our long, painful saga, we Jews have always been givers, and I believe that has helped us survive the savage onslaught of the nations, the ravages of poverty, and all the other suffering we’ve experienced throughout the millennia.

It’s quite simple. If you are a blessing to others, life takes on a different meaning. Even if your heart aches, you know you have to try to help someone else. Even if your body is fatigued and you don’t have the strength to move, somehow you find the energy to get up because you know that others are dependent on you.

I learned what that means early on in my childhood. As a little girl of five, I played with someone who today would be called a “special needs child.” In Hungary we did not have such categorization. Special needs? To us, that meant we had to reach out to one another, because we all had needs that required help. Yes, even at that age we were imbued with the knowledge that we had to be a blessing to our friends and everyone else.

It was with this armor of “Be a blessing” that we responded to the barbarism of the concentration camps. I shall never forget my father’s instructions: “Try to smile, my precious child. And when adults will see a little girl smiling, they will find courage and hope. Be a blessing.”

When we came to America, my mandate to be a blessing gave me the strength to speak to my secular peers and invite them to our Shabbos table. That is how we learned to give tzedakah, and that is how we lived our lives. To us, tzedakah was not just writing a check; it was also giving with love and kindness. “Be a blessing” was emblazoned in our hearts, in our minds, and in our souls.

And now to the paradox.

American Jews have certainly been a blessing to our brethren throughout the world. So how is it possible that this same community that has given so much, that has helped so many, that has been a blessing for those in need, has also produced unbridled chutzpah, meanness, selfishness and self-centeredness? Where did we fail? What went wrong?

I know we tend to blame the new technological toys that dominate our culture – the iPads, the smart phones, the computers. But there must be something deeper than that. So once again I ask: How can two such diametrically different traits emerge from the same community? How can there be so much generosity and yet so much meanness?

Ask yourself: What do our children see at home? Who are their tzedakah role models? Let’s take a glimpse at what occurs in many of our homes.

Mom is in the kitchen preparing dinner. Eleven-year-old Benny’s cell phone rings. “OK, I’ll e-mail you the info right away,” Mom hears him say.

“Whom are you sending that e-mail to?” asks his mother. “What’s it all about?”

“Michael needs my notes to study for tomorrow’s exam,” responds Benny.

“Now wait a second,” his mother says. “Is this the same Michael who refused to help you when you asked? And now he has the nerve to ask you? Forget it! Don’t be a fool! Just tell him you don’t have it!”

As the years pass, the stakes get higher. Now it’s not just homework – it’s a job, a shidduch, a recommendation, a little help…but the seeds have been planted. Benny will always ask, “Why should I help? It’s tit for tat.”

In vain do Benny’s parents give tzedakah. The image that remains in Benny’s mind has rendered his parents’ checks meaningless, and the legacy of being a blessing is lost on him. He never saw it or experienced it.

Take another example.

“Is that Jonathan kid still in your class?” Benny’s mother asks.

“Yeah,” Benny replies.

Muttering under her breath, his mother reaches for the phone. “I told them a hundred times,” she mumbles, “that kid does not belong in that class. He’s slow, he’s weird. I don’t want my Benny to associate with him.”

“Mr. Adler,” she says, annoyance seeping out of her voice. “How many times have I called you? How many times did I ask you to remove that kid? My Benny is an excellent student, and I have a right to demand that equally excellent students should be in his class! He just doesn’t belong there!”

Exasperated, she hangs up and instructs Benny not to play with “that kid” or invite him over.

Benny’s mother is known in the community for volunteer work. But all her volunteering will get her nowhere because she’s never taught Benny to be a blessing.

What it all amounts to is simple, and if we are to make it as Jews we must engrave this teaching of chesed upon our own hearts and the hearts of our children.

Every day when we recite the Shemoneh Esrei, we commence our prayers with “G-d of Avraham, G-d of Yitzchak, and G-d of Yaakov.” But we conclude the berachah with “Magen Avraham – Shield of Avraham.” Now, what is that shield? Yes, we have a Magen David – the Shield of David – but did anyone ever see the Shield of Avraham? The answer is a resounding yes. That shield of Avraham is the shield of chesed.

How well are we doing? Are we carrying the Shield of Avraham?

I would recommend that our sons and daughters see us, their parents, extend tzedakah with warmth and love. Let them see for themselves how to give with chesed, and let them learn it from us.

Be a blessing. It’s not a concept; it’s our very life.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Thousands of Kohanim Gather at Western Wall to Bless the People of Israel

Monday, April 25th, 2016

On the second morning on the intermediate days of Passover, tens of thousands of descendants of the Biblical Aharon, the High Priest, gathered at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem to bless the Nation of Israel.

Thousands more came to be blessed, and millions around the world viewed the events via the “Kotel Kam” that was set up to allow yearning Jewish worshipers at least virtual access to the site.

As in the days of old, so too in present times, the descendants of the Tribe of Levi gather during each of the Biblical holy days and festivals at the material remnant of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to bless the Jewish People.

The event is called ‘Birkat HaKohanim’ – the Blessing of the Priests – and it takes place several times a year.

A live feed of the events taking place throughout the day at the Western Wall may be viewed by clicking here.

This year more than 3,000 police and other security officers have been deployed in and around the area to ensure the safety of those who came to be blessed, and later on, to pray.

“Security forces and the Police and Border Guard officers around the city, including the Temple Mount (ed. note.: adjacent to the Western Wall) are there to manage with professionalism and sensitivity [the protection] that characterizes the uniqueness of the place and the need to serve the public in a fair and equal basis,” explained the police.

“We will continue to guard the status quo on the Temple Mount to benefit all and to act decisively against anyone who tries to disturb the public peace and safety.”

On the second day of Passover — in Israel, the first intermediate day — 12 Jews were ejected from visitation to the Temple Mount grounds after being accused of violating the rules at the site.

One Jewish boy was questioned by police on suspicion of having prayed within the Temple Mount compound, which is forbidden for Jews under the rules of the status quo guidelines agreed upon by Israel with the Jordanian Islamic Waqf after Israel won the 1967 Six Day War and restored the site to the rest of Jerusalem.

The Temple Mount — upon which both ancient Jewish Holy Temples were built — is the holiest site in Judaism. It is also the third holiest site in Islam. Several hundred years ago, Muslims build two mosques there to mark the sacred events in their tradition that took place on the site.

Hana Levi Julian

Unexpected Downpour Swells Lake Kinneret, Creates Havoc in Israel

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

The sun peeked out just long enough Thursday afternoon for Israelis to see the flooding caused by the “sound and light show” they endured over Wednesday night.

Cracks of thunder and long streaks of lightning interspersed with the downpour that sent sheets of rain down through the skies over Israel, drenching the entire country.

Downpours at this time of year are unusual but not unheard of, meteorologist said. By mid-afternoon Thursday, the skies in southern Israel were once again filled with leaden clouds that appeared once more to be pregnant with rain. It was not clear whether in fact more precipitation was on the way; the forecast calls for the possibility for rain, continuing even into as Friday morning.

Rain is considered a blessing in this part of the world no matter when it arrives. There has been a 2.5-centimeter (one inch) rise in the water level of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) as a result of the record-breaking downpour.

But some may have seen it as a mixed blessing: Fifteen members of the Bnei Akiva youth group were trapped in a southern Israeli parking lot due to the flooding. They were rescued by special teams and evacuated from the scene by helicopter. IDF vehicles prepared to enter the area to help evacuate remaining hikers who had been touring in the area.

Bezeq phone lines were still down around the Dead Sea area at midday and service was sporadic at best.

Cell phone companies were scrambling to restore service in the central region. In the Jerusalem area, Cellcom customers reported all kinds of difficulties in placing their calls and in sending text messages Thursday afternoon.

The company had not formulated a response to the complaints by mid-afternoon.

Further south, near Eilat, Route 90 was still closed to traffic by late afternoon due to flash flooding that swamped the road after a night of thunder and lightning that swept Israel from north to south. Route 31, which had been closed earlier in the day, is now open.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/unexpected-downpour-swells-lake-kinneret-creates-havoc-in-israel/2014/05/08/

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